You know how young people honestly believe they know everything there is to know? Well, I have carried the seed of that arrogance well into middle age and beyond. I maintained, at least internally, a smug assurance that I knew more than most. Humility came in painful and sometimes dramatic ways, but it brought me to a place where I began to thirst for answers that were outside of my limited perspective. “The fear of the Lord” wasn’t yet showing me where knowledge could be found, (I would even have laughed at those words had I heard them), but “something” was telling me that I needed to start looking for it.
The searching took me to innumerable teachers. Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale taught me many spiritual principles. Marian Williamson and Barbara Marx Hubbard taught me that women can be powerful forces for change and growth. Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer taught me that I was worth saving. Jack Boland and Robert Schuller helped me to believe that I was a child of God. Thich Nhat Hanh, Emit Fox, C.S. Lewis, Ram Dass, T.S. Elliott, Pema Chodron, Yogananda, The Course in Miracles – all these and so many more fed my hungry soul as I searched for truth. Their messages took me to dimensions of thought that I never would have gotten to on my own. They showed me things about God that were new to me and I was receptive to them. Their wise words, however, did not give me knowledge. I am grateful to them for the enlightenment they exposed me to, but true knowledge is Knowledge of God. To know God and to know who I am in relation to God in His universe is to begin to gain true Knowledge.
Tom and I attend two churches each week. We go to Catholic Mass on Saturdays so that we can experience the sacraments which are dear to me since child hood, (and which I denied myself for forty years as I wondered in the desert of my own will). We also attend Tom’s Church of the Nazarene where we were married. The Pastor there has opened my eyes to how the Bible can be used to teach life lessons. Pastor Paul is an inspiring teacher and I have been intrigued by his creative and stimulating services. And in the past few years I have found myself encircled by good Christian friends who are living examples of Christ’s message. How did this happen; this complete transformation of attitude, belief and appreciation of the role of God in my life?
At our wedding a few weeks ago, our Pastor gave us a small bible with our names inscribed on the front of it in gold letters. I was giddy with delight to receive it but I didn’t know why at that moment. I am beginning to understand the weight of this gift as I go forth on this journey of discovery through the Bible. I do so with the intention of gaining Knowledge of God. His Word was given a long time ago for this purpose and I feel like I am finally ready to receive it. I am starting with Proverbs because I remember enjoying this book a few years ago when I sat down to read the Bible from cover to cover. Unfortunately at that time, it was an exercise, a goal and that was all. Today my eyes and ears are more open and receptive. God’s Grace is certainly the cause.